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DACA Program Again Ruled Illegal in Federal Court

 Posted on November 09, 2023 in Immigration

Untitled---2023-11-09T144122.367.jpgSince it was implemented in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided protection for certain immigrants, allowing them to continue living and working in the United States. This program has been available for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, who are commonly known as “Dreamers.” It has provided them with protection against deportation and authorization to work for United States employers. 

The status of the DACA program has been up in the air over the past several years as legal challenges have been raised. A recent ruling by a federal judge may put the program in jeopardy, and qualifying immigrants will need to understand how they may be affected. An attorney who has experience addressing these and other immigration issues can provide guidance to help immigrants determine their options for living and working in the United States.

Federal Judge Rejects Changes to DACA

In 2021, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the DACA program is illegal and issued an injunction prohibiting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from processing new DACA applications. Since then, the administration of President Joe Biden put new rules in place that were meant to address the legal concerns about the program. On September 13, 2023, the judge upheld the previous ruling, finding that the changes made were not sufficient to address the issues with the DACA program. 

The judge ruled that DACA is illegal because the administration of President Barack Obama failed to follow the proper requirements to allow for public comments before implementing the program. He stated that President Obama exceeded his authority, and issues related to immigration need to be addressed through legislation by Congress rather than executive action. The Biden administration is likely to appeal the judge’s ruling, and the case may eventually be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Under the current ruling, the previous injunction will remain in place, and USCIS cannot process new applications for DACA from qualifying immigrants. However, the judge’s ruling also stated that the decision will not allow the government to take action against DACA recipients. Protections against deportation will remain in place for immigrants who have previously been granted DACA status. DACA recipients will also be able to renew their status when necessary, ensuring that they can continue living and working in the United States.

Options Available to DACA Recipients

While the current ruling will affect people who have applied for DACA, it has not completely ended the DACA program. Immigrants who were granted DACA status before July 16, 2021 will not be affected by the ruling. They will continue to be protected from deportation, and if they have work authorization, they can maintain employment.

While USCIS is accepting DACA applications, it cannot process any new applications received after July 16, 2021. First-time applications for DACA will be placed on hold. However, USCIS will process DACA renewal applications as long as they are submitted within the correct timeframes. Renewal applications may be filed while a person has DACA protections or within one year after the expiration of DACA status. If a renewal application is not filed within one year after DACA status expires, an application for DACA will be considered a first-time application.

Contact Our Orlando DACA Lawyers

If you currently have DACA status, or if you are unsure about whether you have taken the proper steps to receive protection from deportation, Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC can help you address these concerns. We will provide guidance on how you can maintain your legal status in the United States, and we will also help address any other concerns related to visas, Green Cards, or deportation. To get legal help with immigration issues, contact our Orange County DACA renewal attorneys at 407-955-5000 and set up a free consultation.

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